Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team just announced the United Kingdom’s High Court has granted the U.S. government permission to appeal a decision that had blocked Assange’s extradition.
This decision “means he is still at risk of extradition where he faces a 175-year prison sentence and…is certain to lose his life if he is extradited,” says Stella Moris, Assange’s partner.
BREAKING: The US has been granted limited permission to appeal January’s decision that Julian #Assange should not be extradited— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 7, 2021
“The new revelations concerning the DoJ’s lead witness confirm what we all knew: that the case against Julian has been built on lies” | Stella Moris pic.twitter.com/ueGSEDxcyX
According to The Washington Post, Assange’s extradition from Britain to the United States was blocked in January by a lower-court judge who ruled that Assange was at extreme risk of suicide and might not be protected from harming himself in a federal prison.
While the appeal has been granted, no date has been set. Assange currently remains in London’s Belmarsh prison where he shall remain during any potential U.S. appeal. He has been in prison there since April 2019.
“The U.S. government should have accepted the Magistrates’ Court’s decision [January’s decision]—instead, it keeps this case going,” says Moris.
Seven years prior, he spent holed up inside Ecuador’s London embassy, where he fled in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. Sweden dropped the sex crimes investigations in November 2019 because so much time had elapsed, reports ABC News.